Back to business in the great outdoors

Summer is here and even if Covid-19 had never happened, we would all be starting to turn our focus to the great outdoors. Over the summer months, many businesses adapt their offering to bring a new dimension to their customer experience, enabling people to enjoy a taste of alfresco living that is impossible during the winter months.

Outside has taken on new significance in the wake of Covid-19 because it’s the safest place to be. The relaxation of restrictions all around the world has centred on activities and interactions that can take place outside, and as warm weather arrives, we’re predicting that many businesses will be wanting to take advantage of this fact.

You only need to look at the famous ‘café culture’ of European countries like France and Italy to know that a large portion of our daily lives can be lived in the great outdoors during the warmer seasons. For sure, hospitality businesses like coffee shops, bars and even restaurants will be monetising their outside spaces in summer 2020 like never before. Attractions such as zoos and theme parks will welcome visitors with open arms, even if their indoor exhibits must remain closed and their restaurants must become takeaways.

Other business without their own outdoor space may look to take their business models on the road by launching mobile retail units selling everything from gelato and sandwiches to champagne and books! Even entertainment venues – theatres, movie houses and comedy clubs, for example – may well look to offer outdoor alternatives as a way to start generating revenue sooner rather than later, while keeping safety in the forefront of their minds.

So, what does all this mean for printers? Well, outdoor signage will clearly have an important role to play for businesses taking their offering outside. It will be vital to attract and signpost customers to those business, because they may pop up in unexpected places. And once there, it’s important to keep customers informed about safety and infection control protocols.

Offering a good selection of outdoor signage options means you can cater for almost any business model, both creatively and in terms of practical performance. The same tools businesses rely on to keep people informed indoors can also be used outside, by selecting models with a few adaptations.

Retractable banners are one tool that almost every company uses. They can go anywhere and pop up in seconds for a high impact visual display that’s ideal for attracting customers or advertising promotions. For outside, the same cassette mechanism housed within a base that is weighted with sand or water for stability offers an ideal alternative.

Sidewalk signs are a great way to attract customers when a business is tucked out of the way, and are also excellent for displaying menus for outdoor eateries – the large format means customers don’t have to stand too close, and most are double sided too. Choose from A-frame styles for ease of transportation, or a weighted base combined with rigid media when you need more robust performance for busy or rugged locations.

For wide open spaces such as large parks or even the beach, businesses can gain a height advantage using elevated displays. Flag pole banners are a really impactful and cost-effective way to attract attention over large distances – they can be pushed into the ground or sand for stability, or for hard surfaces choose a model with a weighted base. Both have a small footprint and offer rugged performance that’s perfect for a wide range of business needs, from eateries to extreme sports.

To find out more about how Frontline’s products can support your customers to get back to business outdoors this summer, contact